Thin is in at Mid-America

NO ONE wants fat around the middle. So it was not surprising that the Mid-America Trucking Show has been the venue trailer manufacturers choose to unveil their latest thin-wall dry-freight vans.

Vanguard National and Lufkin Trailers were the latest major trailer manufacturers to enter the fray this year. Both introduced composite plate trailers during the event, held March 23-25 at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

It was another record-setting year for Mid-America, with more than 80,000 people from all 50 states and 59 foreign countries attending the three-day show. A total of 1,144 exhibitors filled one million square feet of display space inside the newly expanded exhibit hall and some 200,000 sq ft outside the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Here is a sample of what was on display:

Vanguard National introduces composite plate sidewall van trailer

Vanguard National has entered the growing market for composite plate sidewall van trailers. Its new VXP trailer uses a 5/16" thick sandwich consisting of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) that is foamed between two galvanized steel cover sheets finished with a baked-on polyester topcoat and rust-prohibitive primer.

Individual composite plates are joined together by inner and outer steel posts that are riveted to the plates. The inner post is punched with logistic post slots so that the trailer has full-length logistic posts on 48" centers.

The new Vanguard composite plates are sourced in China, the same as the weldments for the trailer's major subassemblies. Vanguard National is owned by CIMC, China International Marine Container (Group) Ltd. CIMC is the world's largest producer of marine containers since 1996. It currently manufactures over one million containers per year, holding a market share over 50%. It also built over 50,000 trailer units in 2005 for the global trailer market.

Vanguard engineers at the VXP introduction in Louisville pointed out the high quality of the trailer's hot-dip galvanizing (off-shore) of component parts. These include galvanized rear frame, threshold plate, and bolted-on rear impact guard; galvanized one-piece front understructure and front apron on upper coupler; galvanized landing gear brackets and bracing; and galvanized side posts, bulkhead posts, roof bows, scuffbands and air and electrical channels each side.

Interior width of the new VXP composite plate trailer is 101.25" wall-to-wall and 101" between scuffbands. The 53-ft van has a cubic capacity of 4,060 cu ft. Estimated weight is 13,850 lb +/- 3%.

In addition to the trailer warranty, Vanguard warrants its composite plate side panels for 10 years, including full parts and labor for the first seven years from date of manufacture.

Lufkin shows aluminum composite trailer

The first aluminum composite trailers were built by Lufkin Trailers in 2004 and have been running in test fleets since January 2005. Full production was scheduled to start in March. One of those was displayed at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

The aluminum composite plate is similar to steel composite plates in that both have a core of foamed polyethylene. However, the aluminum skins are .035" thick, almost twice the thickness of the typical steel skin used in composite plate trailers. Also, no adhesives are used with the aluminum plate. Bonding the aluminum skin to the foamed polyethylene core is achieved through heat and pressure. Thickness of the aluminum composite plate for trailer sidewalls is 8 mm or 5/16", and it has a weight of 1.77 lb per sq ft.

This aluminum composite plate is not a new material. It was originally developed by Reynolds Aluminum about 20 years ago and used as a high-level architectural wall cladding. Today, it is being produced by Alcoa in a plant in Eastman, Georgia.

The Lufkin Aluplate trailer has an inside width of 101.5" wall-to-wall and 101.25" between scuff plates. Maximum cube is 4,086 cu ft in a 53-ft non-wedge trailer, and 4,397 cu ft in a 57-ft trailer. Lufkin says the Aluplate material saves l,000 lb in a typical trailer over steel composite plate construction. The show trailer pictured is a 53-ft 102" wide van on an air-ride suspension with four aluminum wheels and four steel wheels. It has a scale weight of 13,200 lb, and Lufkin engineers say they will build it as light as 11,500 lb.

The show trailer has an integral scuff 6" high plus a 12" galvanized scuffplate stacked above, for 18" of base wall protection. The panels are joined by logistics posts on 48" centers. These posts are completely flush with the side panel so as to avoid snagging cargo. At the front, the 3" radius nose makes possible a square interior front corner for maximum cargo volume.

Wabash National expanding composite plate line

Wabash National Corporation, the company that developed the composite plate technology, used the Mid-America show to tout the multiple thicknesses of its steel-skin-and-vinyl DuraPlate composite sidewall panels. In addition to the 6 mm (quarter inch) DuraPlate and 7.5 mm DuraPlate sidewalls, it has 13 mm (half-inch) composite plates for such heavy-duty applications as sidewall panels for carpet trailers and trailer door panels.

One Wabash exhibit at the Mid-America Trucking Show demonstrated the life expectancy of its DuraPlate panels when subjected to accelerated aging. The exhibit showed a DuraPlate trailer door that was tested side-by-side with a plywood core door. The DuraPlate door showed no delamination, corrosion, or material decomposition even around the door hinges and bolt holes. The plywood core door was badly deteriorated and shows signs of wear and delamination.

A companion exhibit showed the results of salt spray testing of Wabash National's second generation powder coating of fabricated steel subassemblies. The G-2 second generation powder coated parts showed no sign of rust corrosion, while the wet-coated parts and galvanized parts did show corrosion.

Trailmobile adds armor plating to composite plate

The new Trailmobile Ultra Plate XD introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show has a doubled bottom rail. By making the 18-inch interior scuffplate integral with bottom rail, the composite plate trailer has 277/16" of bottom row protection. The T/M Ultra Plate XD (extra duty) has a full 101" of interior width scuffplate-to-scuffplate.

All Trailmobile trailers are built in the Canadian Trailmobile Ltd plant in Mississauga, Ontario. Bert Clay, vice-president of sales and marketing, says over half of their production is in composite plate trailers.

Utility sees rapid growth of thin-wall design for dry-freight van trailers

Over half of all the dry-freight trailers built by Utility Trailer Manufacturing Company are of the thin-wall design with 101 ¼" of interior width between linings. This percentage is up from 5% in 2001.

Utility's thin-wall trailer is the 4000D-X, which is designed to sell head-to-head with composite plate trailers. It has not only a thin wall and maximum cargo space, but also a plywood-free interior sidewall for reduced maintenance.

The interior lining is .019" galvanized 80,000-psi steel sheets that are formed to fit between the side posts, thus allowing the posts to be deeper. These sheets are squeeze-riveted to the posts and to the exterior skin, leaving the fasteners recessed for a snag-free interior.

The sidewall posts are punched with logistics slots. This makes logistics post spacing available at least every 24". The interior lining panels are prepainted white for maximum light reflectivity, and are separated from the exterior skin by a core material.

Great Dane thin-wall trailer uses ply-metal lining

The high-cube dry freight van at Great Dane Trailer is either an aluminum plate van with an interior width of 101.4375 inches or the SSL with 101" inside width. The SSL (single sided laminate) gets its name from the sheet of .019" galvalume steel that lines the inside surface of the plywood lining. The steel sheet actually wraps around the edges of the plywood panel and is fastened between sideposts to provide a snag-free interior. A third high-cube Great Dane dry freight van is the P-101 with a plastic liner and 101' of interior width.

Great Dane's Mid-America exhibit also highlighted its classic stainless steel refrigerated van. With an exterior skin of polished .021" corrugated stainless steel, this long-life reefer wards off blows on both the outside and inside. The mirror-finish stainless steel is six times more puncture-resistant than an aluminum reefer skin. Stainless steel rivets fasten the panels to z-posts on 12" centers for the full length of the trailer.

J & J Truck Bodies and Trailers redesigns with Hardox for lightest weight

The new DynaHauler dump bodies from J & J Truck Bodies and Trailers, Somerset PA, are designed with single-sheet sides and tailgate. Taking out the side posts and crossmembers helps reduce weight of these material haulers capable of handling stone up to 12".

Even the front bulkhead and doghouse are formed from a single sheet of Hardox 450 steel. Sidewalls are of l/8" Hardox 450 and the floor and tailgate are of 3/16" Hardox 450. The steel surfaces are protected by Sherwin Williams Genesis urethane paint system.

Rhodes Trailers and Truck Bodies adds reflective plate for smooth sidewall

The smoothest of smooth sidewall trailers exhibited at the Mid-America Trucking Show were shown by Rhodes Trailers and Truck Bodies of Parkersburg WV. To achieve the mirror finish on both dump trailers and dump bodies, Rhodes adds a one-piece sheet of eighth-inch polished aluminum over their standard dump body structure.

Bill Harvey, Rhodes project manager, says the additional sheet of aluminum is not as expensive nor as heavy as using hollow-core extrusions to get a smooth exterior sidewall. The Rhodes double sidewall is easy to repair or replace, he says, and it can be insulated.

The 37-cubic-yard dump trailer exhibited is 28'6" long and has 60" high sides. It is running on a Hendrickson Intraax 50,000-lb suspension and 13,000-lb auxiliary non-steer axle. All 10 wheels are aluminum 24.5 × 8.25 with Michelin XZE 14 PR tires. Trailer weight is 12,660 lb.

Trail King radius floor needs no crossmembers

This Chicago-style short dump trailer is grandfathered at 78,000 lb gross. To increase the payload even more, Trail King Industries redesigned it with a radius floor and eliminated the crossmembers. The 96" wide tub with 56" sides is fabricated of 5/16" AR 450 steel. The formed top rail is of a dirt-shedding design. Draft arms of the frameless trailer are of steel tubing. Complete with rear apron and push block, the 23-ft tandem axle trailer weighs 11,800 lb.

East adds aluminum sliding winch

East Manufacturing Corp of Randolph, Ohio, has patented a new sliding winch for use on its platform trailers. The sliding winch for use with web straps is assembled from aluminum extrusions, and includes a strap clip, seen in the photo.

Plastic walking floor reduces trailer weight

Wilkens Manufacturing of Stockton, Kansas, introduced a walking floor trailer that reduces tare weight by approximately 400 pounds by replacing the metal slats of walking floors, using an ultra-high molecular weight instead.

Wilkens received a patent for the idea in 1993. The company has experimented with PVC material as well as fiberglass, says Art Wilkens, but nothing has proved to be as effective as the ultra-high molecular weight trailer shown here. Rated at 100-cu-yd capacity, the 45' × 12'6" trailer tips the scales at 12,950 pounds.

Thermo King APU cuts engine idle time

Thermo King's TriPac auxiliary power unit (APU) provides cab cooling or heating along with engine block heating, battery charging and 12-volt power (an optional inverter provides 120-volt power). However, unlike many other APUs, it provides the cab heat from a fuel-fired heater. The APU engine shuts down for cab heating and lets the bunk heater run on diesel fuel.

TriPac is powered by a Yanmar diesel engine, the same engine that is installed in many Thermo King truck refrigeration units. The engine and belt-driven air-conditioning compressor are mounted on the frame rail of the truck. The evaporator box is typically installed under the sleeper bunk, and the condenser is mounted outside on the back wall of the sleeper cab. These components are controlled by a microprocessor mounted under the sleeper bunk and a control panel mounted in the sleeper cab.

TriPac incorporates start/stop technology that shuts down the system when the parameters have been met in order to further reduce fuel consumption and engine wear. Invented by a refrigeration unit dealer, the TriPac is serviced by Thermo King dealers nationwide. The engine maintenance interval is 1,000 hours, putting service work on the same schedule as the tractor maintenance.

Carrier introduces all-electric cab comfort

Carrier Transicold introduced its ComfortPro auxiliary power unit (APU) at the Mid-America Trucking Show. A new agreement between Carrier, a United Technologies Corp business unit, and Teleflex Inc makes Carrier Transicold the exclusive worldwide distributor of the ComfortPro APU.

The ComfortPro APU can reduce engine idling time 90 percent, according to Tom Cunningham of Carrier Transicold. It can also save truck operators thousands of dollars annually in fuel costs, while also reducing emissions, engine wear, and associated maintenance costs. It also provides cab climate control — both heating and cooling. It can provide 120-volt AC power, 40 amps of truck battery charging, truck engine warming, and start/stop operation.

The ComfortPro all-electric architecture shares the same Deltek hybrid diesel-electric technology found in Carrier's Vector 1800MT trailer refrigeration unit. Its 4,000-watt generator is driven by a Kubota diesel engine — the same engine used in other Carrier transport refrigeration systems. Cab cooling is provided by a sealed electric-powered compressor located in the cab.

The APU is housed in a weather-tight case that mounts on the truck frame rail. Oil can be changed and filters for oil, air, and fuel can be serviced in less than five minutes, Carrier says.

Bendix announces safety advances

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC announced truck OEM availability of its electronic stability control system and a joint program with Knorr-Bremse to co-develop driver assistance systems for commercial vehicle applications.

The company's ABS-based electronic stability control technology will be available on 60-70 percent of all Class 8 tractor configurations sold by Mack, International, Kenworth, Peterbilt and Volvo, Bendix said. The systems will be standard equipment for Volvo and optional for Mack, Kenworth, Peterbilt, and International.

The joint program involving Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC and its European affiliate, Knorr-Bremse, will be conducted in phases. In the first phase, Bosch will provide components, software and related engineering knowledge for its radar technology to Bendix and Knorr-Bremse to adapt and develop for application in commercial vehicles.

Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) identifies vehicles on the road ahead, computes their speed and maintains a speed-related following distance through automatic engine management. The radar will also initially provide warnings to the driver when a forward collision is impending. ACC by Bosch has been in use on passenger vehicles since 2000.

Additionally, Bendix and Knorr-Bremse are planning to develop, manufacture and market an active collision mitigation system for commercial vehicles. This system builds on the technology of ACC and, when combined with Bendix ABS-6 Advanced with ESP stability system, assists drivers in emergency braking.

By “predicting” the situation, the system can automatically apply a certain amount of braking power and engine throttle reduction to help reduce the impact of vehicle collisions. The technology is currently in use on passenger vehicles, and systems are running on commercial vehicles. Bendix plans to make the product commercially available in 2007.

ArvinMeritor reveals near-term, long-term products

ArvinMeritor introduced several truck and trailer products that customers can acquire almost immediately and one that may help the trucking industry comply with the next round of diesel engine emissions in 2010. Among the introductions:

  • Hub-and-axle system for wide-based tires. New wide-based tire hubs for drive and trailer axles are now available, offering truck operators improved fuel economy, better handling and stability. The new hub requires no modification to the drive axle. The new drive- and trailer-axle hubs will be available on new tractors and trailers as well as through the company's Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket for users who choose to retrofit to the wide-base single tire.

    The new hubs offer truck operators multiple benefits, including more robust axle bearings that support a full 40,000-pound application rating; two-inch outset wheels that increase track width and improve handling; and a weight reduction of nearly 900 pounds when used on the tractor and trailer.

  • Severe-Service Q Plus brakes for vehicles that operate in harsh or rugged environments such as construction, refuse collection, and firefighting.

    The SSQ Plus system consists of larger brakes along with upgraded bushings, seals and hardware. Fleet testing on 30 refuse vehicles over a period of 26 months indicated time between brake relines could increase from 2.3 months to 13 months, a potential increase of over 500 percent.

    The SSQ Plus package will be available as an original equipment option on new vehicles and for aftermarket applications.

  • New trailer air suspenson. The new Meritor RideSentry MPA series will be offered with a wide variety of axles, brakes and spindle profiles. Designed for dry-freight and refrigerated vans, the suspension will be ready for the market in July — in 38,000 lb and 40,000 lb capacities.

    Features include new profile side rails for improved buckling, racking and curbing resistance; patent-pending angled locking pins (available in the fall of 2006) to help prevent slider damage if operator releases handle but fails to engage pins; bonded rubber upper control arm bushings with steel thrust washers and extended warranty coverage to seven years parts/five years labor; slider mechanism protection to reduce damage and weight savings; a design to eliminate dock walk and one that is TOFC ready.

  • A PLC display for tractor-trailer communications. The new system allows communication of important information concerning the status of trailer-mounted systems, including the transmission of critical information from the Meritor Tire Inflation System by PSI.

    Examples of tractor-trailer-oriented communications and control that are possible include excessive wheel end temperature, low tire pressure, trailer ABS diagnostics, trailer air supply, wheel drag warning, lift axle status, reefer zone temperature and fuel warnings, slider control, telematic devices, trailer dome light status, suspension weight, and trailer mileage.

  • Help for 2010 emissions. The long-term product ArvinMeritor previewed was a potential technology for helping engine manufacturers meet EPA's stringent 2010 emission standards for commercial vehicles.

ArvinMeritor's ActiveClean plasma fuel reformer technology reforms diesel fuel that has been drawn from the vehicle's fuel tank. Using electrically generated plasma, the system separates the fuel into hydrogen and carbon monoxide using electrically generated plasma. The hydrogen and carbon monoxide are then injected into the exhaust upstream of the catalytic elements in the emissions control aftertreatment system to reduce particulate matter and NOx.

Holland simplifies axle alignment

The CB2300 air suspension takes much of the work out of axle alignment with its SwingAlign system that requires less than 250 ft lb of torque to fine-tune the axle — without loosening the torque on the pivot connection. Loosening the pivot connection typically requires 550 ft lb of torque. Representing Holland USA, Muskegon, Michigan, are Pat McGurk and Bill Hicks.

New Truck-Lite LED lowers trailer lighting costs

Truck-Lite introduced two amber LED-Mini marker variations to the company's 33 Series of lamps.

The lamps are flush mounted into the vehicle and are about the size of a US penny, making a very small target for impact by limbs and other objects. Because of its size, the lamps can be recessed within the vehicle for additional protection. The 33 Series of lamps require a standard ¾" drill for mounting both the grommet or flange versions — trailer manufacturers no longer need special tooling to mount them.

Impervious to shock and vibration, the LEDs are offered with a limited lifetime lamp warranty. They are produced by Truck-Lite, Falconer, New York.

Peterbilt unveils new trucks

Peterbilt Motors Company introduced an aerodynamically styled day cab and four vocational models.

The new lineup of Class 8 vehicles will be available in early 2007, and the new medium duty models will be available this summer.

With the addition of the Model 387 day cab and Model 384, Peterbilt now offers four aerodynamically styled trucks, a market that accounts for the majority of on-highway Class 8 vehicles in operation. The new Model 387 day cab is ideal for tanker and regional-haul applications where aerodynamic performance and a spacious, comfortable operator environment are preferred. The second truck, the Model 384, can be configured as a day cab or with the full range of detachable Peterbilt sleepers.

For vocational markets, Peterbilt introduced the new Model 367 and Model 365.

The Model 367 will be available in a special heavy haul configuration that features a high-capacity cooling system to accommodate high horsepower engines.

The new lightweight Model 330 is a Class 6 configuration that is available with GVW ratings up to 26,000 pounds. It can be equipped with hydraulic brakes and low-profile tires to allow for operation by a non-CDL driver.

On the other end of the medium duty scale, the new Model 340 is available in 33,000 pound and higher GVW ratings and is best suited for vocational, municipal and specialty applications.

Ancra International unveils retrofit SilverCap

Ancra International of Erlanger, Kentucky, has developed an after-market version of its SilverCap tiedown system.

SilverCap OverDrive's universal design allows it to fit over existing, non-ratcheting winches, bolting securely in place in just minutes. The device eliminates the need for flatbed truckers to scrap their existing, standard winches to get the advantages of a ratchet-cap. Ancra's SilverCap and SilverCap OverDrive ratchet-caps eliminate the need for truckers to re-insert a winch bar with each turn while tightening a load strap.

Kenworth introduces new Class 6

Kenworth Truck Company announced the introduction of a new T300 Class 6 25,000-pound GVWR vehicle equipped with air brakes for pick-up and delivery and various other applications. Kenworth continues to also provide hydraulic brakes on its T300 Class 6 and 7 vehicles.

The Class 6 truck will come with 8,000-lb front and 17,000-lb rear axles. It will be available with Cummins ISB and ISC engines and Caterpillar C7 engine. In conjunction with air brakes, Kenworth is offering a low profile chassis with 19.5-inch wheels and tires. Also available are 22.5-inch wheels and tires.

New options include remote keyless entry and a low voltage disconnect system that continually monitors battery voltage.

The Kenworth T300 is available in Class 6 and Class 7 configurations as a straight truck or tractor. Details of the new truck can be found in the Kenworth Medium-Duty Body Builders Manual.

“It's imperative for Kenworth and body builders to work together so that each body can be installed easily and efficiently when the builder takes delivery. The Kenworth Medium-Duty Body Builders Manual will aid in this important process,” said Jeff Sass, Kenworth marketing planning and research director.

The publication is available as a .pdf file for electronic download and printing. It can be found under T300 in the Products Section of Kenworth's home page at or by contacting Lynne McNulty, Kenworth medium duty marketing manager, at (425) 828-5299.

International displays updated 7000 Series

The International 7000 Series line of trucks is getting an update.

With the 2007 emissions standards for diesel engines coming into play, International has invested in developing a new hood design and cooling system on its 2007 model year International 7000 Series trucks to increase the capacity of the newer engine cooling requirements.

International made the decision not to relocate the larger radiator down between the frame rails so that the trucks will still be able to provide front PTO options.

“Not only will the International 7000 Series get a new look to the hood, we are still able to provide customers with the option for front PTOs,” said Bill Sixsmith, director of severe service marketing, International. “With the high demands of construction, municipal and waste industries, maintaining the front PTO option is an important feature to our customers. The new hood design provides easy access to the engine compartment for maintenance and continues with the bold look of the International 7000 Series.”

The new design will accommodate International, Caterpillar, and Cummins engines. International's trucks will be fully compliant with the EPA's 2007 mandates. The hood of the International PayStar Series — the other line of severe service trucks — will remain the same.

Freightliner to offer rack and pinion steering

Freightliner Trucks announced that the company will begin offering rack and pinion steering as an option on the Freightliner Century Class S/T, Coronado, Columbia, Classic, and Classic XL Class 8 models later this year.

The rack and pinion steering system offers a number of significant benefits to customers, according to Freightliner, including:

  • More accurate and responsive steering.

  • It is 45 pounds lighter than integral gear systems with spring suspensions.

  • It has fewer parts and pivot points.

As the name implies, rack and pinion steering consists of two components. The rack is a horizontal shaft with teeth, which intersects the pinion at a 90-degree angle. Turning the steering wheel turns the pinion, moving the rack to the left or right, thus steering the wheels.

Auxiliary power units prominent

Batteries included.

Auxiliary power units, ranging from battery powered to supplementary units powered by a separate engine, were very much in evidence at the Mid-America Trucking Show as manufacturers scramble for ways to reduce engine idling.

Truck manufacturers joined refrigeration unit manufacturers in providing answers for reduced idling. Among them:

  • Freightliner Trucks announced the availability of a climate-control system that works independently of the vehicle's main engine. It will be offered for Century Class S/T, Coronado, and Columbia Class 8 truck models.

    The Bergstrom NITE (No-Idle Thermal Environment) System is designed to keep the sleeper compartment comfortable without relying on power from the engine.

    “Research shows Class 7 and 8 trucks burn approximately $6,000 in fuel and associated costs idling each year,” said Terry Zeigler, vice-president of electrified systems at Bergstrom Inc.

    Powered by four deep-cycle batteries instead of the truck's electrical system, the NITE air conditioner offers 3,500 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of cooling capacity. The air conditioner draws no energy from the truck's electrical system when the truck engine is off. The diesel fuel-operated heater throws off 2,900 to 7,500 BTUs per hour. The energy requirement to heat the sleeper area is less than one-tenth of a gallon per hour.

  • Kenworth introduced its own solution. The Kenworth Clean Power System features a battery-powered climate control system with the capability to provide engine-off heating and cooling, plus 110v “hotel load” power to drivers for a full 10 hours.

    “Idle reduction is becoming a critical issue for the industry, and the solutions offered to date do not meet the true needs of the industry in terms of cost, approach, or length of operation,” said Mike Dozier, Kenworth chief engineer.

    According to Dozier, the Kenworth Clean Power System offers the potential for as much as an 8% improvement in overall fuel economy by eliminating the one gallon of fuel typically burned per idle hour.

    Cooling and electric capacity is generated and stored as the truck is driven down the road, or when the truck is connected to shore power. Once the truck is shut off, the battery-powered cooling system takes over and a thermostat regulates the driver's desired sleeper temperature.

  • Peterbilt also addressed the issue.

“Customers are seeking multiple strategies to reduce fuel consumption, comply with anti-idling laws, and lower operating expenses,” said Dan Sobic, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice-president.

One option is the company's new universal APU connector designed to simplify and reduce costs for an aftermarket auxiliary power unit installation. The Universal APU Connector provides the necessary lines and wiring needed to install a variety of aftermarket units. The 12-volt power is pre-wired from the battery box to the module. Fuel lines are fitted from the fuel tank to the module, and the module is used to make connections once the unit is installed on the chassis. The Universal APU Connector will be available in the third quarter for all Peterbilt models that can be equipped with sleepers.

Western Star shows chassis changes to meet 2007 emission standards

Western Star Trucks used a new 4900 EX highway tractor at the Mid-America Trucking Show to introduce changes intended for the entire product line following the effective date of new engine emission regulations in January 2007. The show truck has an 82-inch Stratosphere sleeper and is powered by a Detroit Diesel Series 60 engine.

To meet the new emission standards, Western Star trucks will all include updated cooling and exhaust systems. In particular, the new engines will require more cooling capacity, which requires an increase in radiator size. To fit larger radiators under the traditional Western Star grille and hood, the company has added a drop front frame casting.

One result of the changes to the radiator mount is an improvement in the front suspension, which uses a 56-inch asymmetric spring that is shorter forward of the axle mounting than from the axle to the rear spring hanger. The shorter front spring length provides more roll stiffness and better handling in turns while the longer rear section maintains a soft ride characteristic. New steering gear provides improved road feel, better wheel cut and a shorter turning radius.

Changes to the exhaust system offer horizontal and vertical frame mountings with vertical tailpipes. The aftertreatment components required to meet emission standards are packaged for easy filter maintenance.

To help fleets and operators cut fuel consumption and engine idle time, Western Star offers auxiliary power units from two vendors as factory-installed options. Idle Solutions and Rigmaster generator sets for heat and air-conditioning without idling the tractor engine are available on Western Star products with sleepers. These auxiliary power units also have 120 vac outlets for appliance use.

Haldex trailer stability system reduces potential for rollovers

Haldex recently launched its TRS Trailer Rollover Stability System to reduce the potential of combination vehicle rollovers by monitoring the trailer's speed and lateral force 100 times per second.

The trailer-based TRS adjusts for the trailer conditions during normal and ABS braking events as well as reacting if conditions indicate a rollover is imminent.

To reduce the risk of a rollover, the system uses a learning process called adaptive learning loop (ALL) technology. ALL allows the system's ECU to learn by calculating the trailer's lateral acceleration, vehicle speed, air suspension and air system pressure 100 times per second. If a rollover is imminent, TRS applies the trailer brakes to slow and stabilize the tractor/trailer unit.

TAGS: Trailers
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.